Vancouver Island Sailors Shine in Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame Class of 2024

Vancouver Island’s rich sailing history takes the spotlight once again as seven Island sailors are set to be inducted into the prestigious Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame Class of 2024. The announcement was made on Saturday, showcasing the undeniable talent and success of these exceptional sailors.

Among the distinguished inductees is Eric Jespersen from Sidney, who clinched the bronze medal in the Star division at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and the world championship title in 1994. Jespersen, alongside Ross MacDonald of Vancouver, made waves in the sailing world with their remarkable achievements. MacDonald, a silver medalist in the Star class at the 2004 Athens Olympics, will be joining Jespersen in the Hall of Fame.

Jespersen’s deep-rooted connection to sailing, stemming from his upbringing in a renowned Island sailing family led by his boat-builder father Bent Jespersen, has been a driving force behind his success. His passion for sailing was evident from a young age, as he crewed his first race at the age of 12 and later went on to compete in prestigious events like the America’s Cup.

The late David Cook, captain of the Victoria Yacht Club boat that secured a silver medal in the Sonar class at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, is another notable addition to the Class of 2024. Overcoming personal challenges, Cook found solace and strength in sailing, using it as a form of therapy for both his mind and body.

Joining Cook in the Hall of Fame are his Atlanta Paralympics silver-medalist crew members John McRoberts, Kirk Westergaard, and Ken Kelly, all hailing from Victoria. Their remarkable achievements and dedication to the sport have left a lasting impact on the sailing community.

The Class of 2024 also includes other outstanding sailors such as Mike Wolfs, Brian MacDonald, David Williams, Don Martin, Rob Ball, and Caroll-Ann Alie, each contributing to the rich tapestry of Canadian sailing history.

The induction ceremony is scheduled to take place on October 5 at the Vancouver Yacht Club, where these exceptional sailors will be honored for their remarkable contributions to the world of sailing.